Super Soundproofing Community Forum

Soundproofing Forum Topics => Soundproofing your single family home from traffic noise and neighbors. => Topic started by: Kathy Eby on April 19, 2003, 04:01:44 AM

Title: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Kathy Eby on April 19, 2003, 04:01:44 AM
We have a 4 lane street behind our home and the noise has gotten progressively worse due to SUV's.  We have a six foot rock wall and we would like to know the benefits of putting 3-4 feet of plexiglass on top of the wall and if beneficial, where can it be purchased in south Orange County.  Thanks, Kathy
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Rudy on April 19, 2003, 04:55:06 PM
I am thinking about doing the same think. where about in south orange county? it wouldnt be imperial hwy would it? I think plexi glass will work for the most part but you will still have noise entering from the other 2 sides where neighbors are. there is also the consdeiration of maint on the glass. large bushes put up in front of the wall/plexi glass would help.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home (Kathy and Rudy)
Post by: Boborther on April 23, 2003, 05:43:03 PM
Kathy and Rudy,

As you can see from my other postings, for an outdoor fence to be effective, it needs to be at least 8 feet above the noise source (10 feet would even be better). The plexiglass would help as it would make the sound wave travel higher to get to you. When you make a sound wave work, it deteriorates rapidly.
The block wall fence is a good thing as long as it is not a cinder block fence. Cinder block is very pourous, and can pass sound. (masonry for the most part is a good soundproofer). Check the fence and make sure there are no holes or gaps in the mortar or the blocks themselves. If there are gaps or holes, plug them up with caulk or concrete. This will help to keep sound leakage at a minimum.

Please send us a follow up on this project, especially if you use the plexiglass and it gets the results you are looking for. You'd be surprised at the number of folks who read this forum, and there is no better reading than a good success story. Thanks Kathy and Rudy for your posts.


Skip
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.
Ph: (760) 752-3030FAX: (760) 752-3040
URL: www.soundproofing.org
e-mail: Skip@soundproofing.org
For orders only (888) 942-7723
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: nathan cocozza on May 21, 2003, 05:11:38 AM
I have a home in Arizona, which has a 6 foot block wall behind it and a 3 lane street behind the wall. The noise is terrible and a friend had told me about some type of device, which could block sound. I think it does this by playing the same sound back and essentially cancelling out the street noise. Does anyone know what devide this is or where I can get one?
In addition, are there any other ways to block this type of sound.
Please reply to me at my email address Ncocozza@viack.com.

Thanks

Nathan
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Boborther on May 23, 2003, 05:57:04 PM
Nathan,

You are basically describing a noise cancelling device. From what I have discovered, these devices were pioneered in Australia and New Zealand. I think if you go to your search engine, and type in "noise cancelling" you should be able to get more in depth information on these devices.
There is also a company in Carlsbad, California called "Quiet Flight-LLC" that is  researching these devices for aircraft and airport noise control. You also may want to check into that company.
As it stands these devices appear to be very costly and would most likely be prohibative  for us common folk.
If there is anyone out there who can shed more light on this subject,  I would definitely welcome your input.
Nathan, I hope this has helped you, or at least given you a direction in which to find more  information on these devices. As time permits, I too will do my research. Thanks again for you post.

Sincerely,


Super Soundproofing Sales /Technical Associate
www.soundproofing.org
Skip@soundproofing.org
Phone (760) 752-3030
Orders only!: (888) 942-7723
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Bob Sep on July 29, 2003, 08:39:03 PM
Greetings:

I  live above the I-5 Fwy and am expericing a tremendous problem with the fwy. noise:(

I have installed plexi-glass on half the house, insulation within the rooms ,shubbery and so forth. Yet, I still have a noise problem :'(

Does anyone have a suggestion as to the reduction of the noise, aside from moving. The area is a nice area in Silverlake, so I would hate to relocate.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Boborther on July 29, 2003, 11:33:50 PM
Bob,

I will need a little more detail about your situation in order to give you timely and accurate advice. For example, I am not sure where you installed this plexiglass on (or around) your home. Also, had I known, I would have told you to forego the fiberglass insulation (unless of course, you need it for the thermal value).
Bob, I think it would be wise for you to invest the "proverbial" dime and give me or Joel a call, Tell Joelf if he answers that you were referred from the Q&A forum.

Skip  
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.  
Ph: (760) 752-3030FAX: (760) 752-3040  
URL: www.soundproofing.org  
e-mail: Skip@soundproofing.org  
For orders only (888) 942-7723
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: don on July 24, 2004, 11:53:28 PM
Hi Bob

I bought a home on a little hill above a road........15-20 feet above road...the noise just echos up toward my home........I was not knowing that it would become a major thoughfare for the town........cars come off downhill and then gas it below my home.........all day and nite........ive installed double pane windows.......the house is built with hollow tile...(brick)....the question/concern I have is........to build a fence down below .....near road....8-ft tall........with wood fence materal overlapping (no gaps)

.........would this help to shiel/keep noise down below........

Thanks for your time....

Don

I can also send you pics............???
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: peter on March 23, 2005, 02:44:37 AM
FYI, active noise cancellation devices are not yet advanced enough to deal with the varying location, pitch, and level of passing traffic.  I did some of research recently on this myself and talked to a few people who work on these products.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Richard Balling on April 17, 2005, 12:16:38 AM
We live 10 feet or so from Imperial Hwy a large main street in our area. Between us and the Hwy is a 6 foot slump stone wall. The traffic noise is very bad. The Home Owners Assoc. has been talking about doing something for quite some time. I don't think they know what to do.What is the best thing that might help. Adding several more feet of slump stone, plexiglass or???Some solutions in the area are very unsightly.

Thank You
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Lori Call on July 24, 2005, 11:53:46 PM
I have been reading some of the emails about traffic noise reduction.  we, too have a highway behind our home, buffered by an 8' concrete wall.  my husband has heard of noise canceling devices.  are these available yet and how much do they cost?  Also, how much difference can tall trees make?  Are there any other ways to buffer this noise?  None of the emails seemed to have a solid answer.....or I just missed it  :)

thanks

Lori Call


No, trees won't help.  See above messages

Skip  
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.  
Ph: (760) 752-3030FAX: (760) 752-3040  
URL: www.soundproofing.org  
e-mail: Skip@soundproofing.org  
For orders only (888) 942-7723
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: supersoundproofing on September 29, 2005, 10:40:57 PM
Noise cancelling only works with steady sound of a particular frequecy and traffic noise is not like that

BJ
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Michael Villarreal on October 15, 2005, 04:27:19 PM
I am currently living in Indonesia.  Our house is on a sizeable piece of land.  The house is about 15 meters from a main street.  Its not a freeway but it gets alot of traffic.  We have a cement/brick wall roughly 2.5 meters high.  Just inside the wall there is a layer of bamboo trees which are very tall.  I would like to try to reduce the noise from traffic both inside the house and outside in the back yard.  Our master bedroom is on the second floor and we have a large window and balcony directly faceing the street.  We are using wooden blinds instead of curtains.  I would like to install an additional glass pane on the windows in the bedroom.  Im not sure which is the best method.  Plastic, glass, plexiglass, etc???  I am also considering adding more bamboo treed and perhaps some plexiglass on top of the wall.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Michael
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: supersoundproofing on November 01, 2005, 11:05:07 PM
Everything you mentioned will help, except the trees!

BJ Nash
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: pave-low on November 09, 2005, 02:51:51 PM
Newbie on the prowl-
I have a new interest in sound abatement and stumbled on this thread.  Couple of feedback items (no pun intended)

There is active noise cancelling for outdoor environments (and based on changing freqs.)
http://www.innovatieprogrammageluid.nl/projecten/wegverkeer/antigeluid/fase%202%20eindrapport.pdf

But after reading this paper I have decided to not follow in their wave-prints. It looks very very complicated and with only a 5db cut.  I also know that someone (can’t remember who) was working on active noise cancellation for a car (instead of using a mechanical muffler).  It worked great but the environment is different.  The distances from source is small and doesn’t change etc. Just cool thoughts I guess.

I have a new noise problem.  We lost all of our trees to hurricane Wilma.  Huge difference now with a 200’ gap (tree-less now) to a 6 lane street.  I am on the verge of executing the Harley geeks that blast down the street at 1:00 a.m.  But most of our problem is when you are outside.  Inside a solid concrete house we don’t have much knowledge of the streets existence.

I have learned:
      Vegetation has a huge sound dampening ability!
      The impact glass in my office at work cuts 100% of the sound from the very busy street 60’ from my back.

But I do have an alternative “active” sound system in mind.  After ruling out the electronic active wave cancelling I am leaning toward a large waterfall in the corner of my lot.  From my un-educated observations this could eliminate all but the really hi db sources from my back yard.  

Have any of you tried this?
Do you think “impact glass” might be the answer for the some of you?

Thanks for helping a newbie out!

:)
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Gary Keller on November 10, 2005, 02:57:22 AM
Hello and thank you for reading my note. By the way, you have a very informative web site here!

I have a condo on a busy street in Sarasota, FL.  My condo association requires the same exterior appearance of my two sliding glass doors and my two regular windows.  Also, since the hurricanes have come through Florida, I understand our county code requires any new windows to be up to hurricane code.

My questions are three fold:
1.      What suggestion(s) can you make to reduce noise from a busy road that my condo faces in a townhouse condo that takes up the second and third level?
2.      If you suggest new windows, is there a resource, such as a web site or magazine that ranks the top noise reducing windows and good installers in the area?
3.      Finally how can I check to see if the cost of the job is fair?

Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: pave-low on November 16, 2005, 04:58:15 PM
Most people just use ¼” or thicker tempered glass.  A good installation and caulk job around the frame will yield an amazing amount of sound dampening.  Retail on the glass is about $8.00/sqft. I wouldn’t pay more than $6.00/sqft. (your glass guy is still making money at that price). Installation should be between $50-75 per operable window depending on the size/height off the ground, and the size of the total job. Make sure they know why you want the thick glass.  They will install double wipers, etc. to help the sound-proofing.  To find a good contractor you can always ask them for some people in your neighborhood that have either had impact glass installed or just regular windows.

I am totally sold on Impact glass for sound dampening.
8)
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: coffee1 on February 08, 2007, 12:55:41 AM
 I also live near a very busy freeway. The truck noise is driving us crazy. I tried installing a piece of trempered glass inside the window jam of my bedroom window. The tempered glass only helped slightly. Three sides of my home are brick, but the rear that faces the freeway in vinyl siding. Could the siding be a part of the problem? If necessary I'm willing to remove the siding and install something that would cut the down the noise. Would installing a noise barrier then re installing the siding help? Would replacing the siding with stucco make a noticable difference? I love my home so, I willing to try almost anything.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: bjnash on February 08, 2007, 05:36:15 AM
Remember, windows usually pass more sound than walls- let your ears test the difference.
See
http://soundproofing.org/options_sound_control_for_windows.htm

BN Nash
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: johnbergstromslc on February 09, 2007, 02:27:56 AM
Tempered glass doesn't help much.  What you need is Laminated glass.  The plastic interlayer is what breaks the vibration (and the noise).  Stucco would be quieter than vinyl siding (especially if you caulked up the seams and penetrations in your sheathing first), but focus on quieting the windows and doors first.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: coffee1 on February 09, 2007, 04:38:55 AM
Remember, windows usually pass more sound than walls- let your ears test the difference.
See
http://soundproofing.org/options_sound_control_for_windows.htm

BN Nash
I took you suggestion and let me ears do the testing. I put an ear against the wall that faces the freeway, the one with the vinyl siding. I could hear as much noise as the windows. I actually could fell the drywall vibrating as the tractor trailer trucks came by. I tried the same test on one of my side walls that has brick on the outside, huge difference.  Almost no noise penetrated the wall with the brick exterior. I understand that I will also have to address the windows, but the wall seems to allow as much noise through. I know installing brick is not an option. Do you have any other suggestions? Will hardi planking in place of the vinyl siding help?
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: johnbergstromslc on February 10, 2007, 12:37:35 AM
You might want to try doubling up the drywall with Green Glue.  It would be far easier and cheaper than replacing the siding.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: coffee1 on February 13, 2007, 08:13:06 PM
I'm willing to try adding another layer of drywall but, that will require floating and texturing. I'll have no experience in either, so I'll need to hire someone that does. However, I have installed siding before. By trying an option that would involve the siding would be easier and probably cheaper than a drywall option. Is MLV beneath by siding an effective option? Currently, beneath my sidng is a very thin layer of insulating wrap that covers a layer of OSB. Is MLV beneath by siding an effective option? Can the MLV be nailed directly over the wrap and OSB? Or would I need to install furring strips to create an air gap then reinstall the siding? My concern about adding furring strips is the increased thichness and would that create a problem with the siding around my windows?

Just FYI. I fabricated a window plug for my master bedroom using 3/4" MDF with 1" carpet padding glued to the back. This pug did reduce the noise some. But, my bedroom still is very noisy. Do you thing this type of window plug is as effective as a layer of laminated glass?
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: johnbergstromslc on February 14, 2007, 02:40:05 AM
Well, MLV would help, but installing furring strips with an air gap would be a lot more effective.  MLV runs $1.50/sq/ft., minimum, so to cover a 4' X 8' area would be $48.  Drywall is only $10 for a 5/8" sheet, and you could easily learn to mud and texture.  Your call, though.

The plug you made sounds like it's helping, but I don't think it's as effective as laminated glass.  1/4" laminated has roughly an equal density as 3/4" MDF, but it deadens sound much better, due to the vibration-breaking effect of the inner plastic layer.   
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: sandmansf on December 01, 2007, 10:47:54 PM
Found some links that I thought might prove useful:
http://massloadedvinyl.blogspot.com/2005/07/building-soundproof-fence.html

http://www.homefrontfence.com
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: bjnash on January 19, 2008, 03:22:03 AM
Found some links that I thought might prove useful:
http://massloadedvinyl.blogspot.com/2005/07/building-soundproof-fence.html

http://www.homefrontfence.com

Thanks for your post, but such fences will not be effective unless very high- 14' or better as the sound bubble will roll right over a 8' fence.

Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: sparsonsusa on January 27, 2008, 11:41:08 PM
My traffic is in front of my home and because I'm set on a hill, I'd have to build a 20' tall fence (which isn't allowed). My house is 20' away from a busy street on a hill (think low gear) in a canyon (echo!). The noise isn't constant, just enough to discern the difference from very loud and quiet. I find it unusual that I can hear every passing car, person, dog, or leaf from inside my home. I recently got new windows with a STC rating of 32. They did nothing, zip, nada to reduce the noise. It was at the moment I decided to sell, then the housing market crashed (so, I have to stay for a while). So, I'm backing to finding a solution. I have a stucco house, raised foundation, wood floors, plaster & lath walls (built in 1951). My noise problem is 100% automobile, with a great majority the "boom boom" cars with really low base shaking the pictures off the walls every few minutes. I can hear them from half a mile in either direction of my house and that doesn't seem right. I even have to turn up the TV to compete from them. Other peoples' homes don't seem as noisy as mine.
I'd swear noise was coming through the walls, ceiling, and floor, but can't tell. I'm very skeptical about ripping any walls down and rebuilding them with special drywall, but I'm willing to entertain any ideas. I have a budget of about 1k, perhaps to just address the three bedrooms. Is that even reasonable?
Thanks,
Scott
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Mark Daveis on January 29, 2008, 11:23:31 PM
Hi,
Wherever there is low mass - roof,walls,windows the sound and definitely bass will penetrate so check everything - walls, roof floor. They ALL have to have enough mass to stop the sound. A double glazed window has only about 10 to 15 kg/msq of unit mass so wont stop that much so you either have to increase the mass of weak areas or use an air space with less mass.
On the cheap you could buy concrete blocks and cement and do the walls and use say thick mdf or chip board to treat the roof/floor and if you have enough mass you should get good results. First thing you should do is get a sound meter and measure the decibels and amount of bass noise before deciding what to do. :)
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: sparsonsusa on February 03, 2008, 11:29:58 PM
Thank you for your reply. I like the suggestion about a sound meter. I'll start my search now.
I just visited a home with a set of soundproof windows over a set of double-pane windows. I was impressed with the results. That house, though, had 9" thick exterior walls. So, I'm not sure if it would help that much in my house. The house was overlooking a freeway (on top of it, if you asked me), so the noise was constant.
Nevertheless, having not considered the "mass" factor before, I'm going to look into those manufactured stone facades you can put on your house. I looked at them previously for aesthetic reasons, but now can see the practical. It'd add about 2" of stone to my house, although I'd only have it go up to the windows.
One thing about the windows I bought, I can now say they do keep out the higher-pitched noises. So, it's just the rumbling of the cars.
Thanks again for your help,
Scott
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: Mark Daveis on February 05, 2008, 08:33:11 PM
Only two things really matter in soundproofing and thats mass and isolation.
High pitched sounds have less energy (unless very loud) so can be stopped with just a fair amount of mass.
2 inches of stone will add quite a bit of mass to youir walls but remember to look at the roof and windows/doors as well as the sound will just pass through there if they are not treated as well but all can be done cheaply with standard DIY materials. :)
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: homeowner on March 28, 2008, 06:29:49 AM
I have been skimming the posts and have noticed the reference to a 'sound bubble'.  This leads me to wonder if sound *absorbing* rather than blocking might be a good idea.  Does anyone know anything about these absorbing panels? 
http://www.acousticsciences.com/soundfence/sound-fence.htm

Thanks!
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: wav3form on April 13, 2008, 05:33:51 AM
My traffic is in front of my home and because I'm set on a hill, I'd have to build a 20' tall fence (which isn't allowed). My house is 20' away from a busy street on a hill (think low gear) in a canyon (echo!). The noise isn't constant, just enough to discern the difference from very loud and quiet. I find it unusual that I can hear every passing car, person, dog, or leaf from inside my home. I recently got new windows with a STC rating of 32. They did nothing, zip, nada to reduce the noise. It was at the moment I decided to sell, then the housing market crashed (so, I have to stay for a while). So, I'm backing to finding a solution. I have a stucco house, raised foundation, wood floors, plaster & lath walls (built in 1951). My noise problem is 100% automobile, with a great majority the "boom boom" cars with really low base shaking the pictures off the walls every few minutes. I can hear them from half a mile in either direction of my house and that doesn't seem right. I even have to turn up the TV to compete from them. Other peoples' homes don't seem as noisy as mine.
I'd swear noise was coming through the walls, ceiling, and floor, but can't tell. I'm very skeptical about ripping any walls down and rebuilding them with special drywall, but I'm willing to entertain any ideas. I have a budget of about 1k, perhaps to just address the three bedrooms. Is that even reasonable?
Thanks,
Scott

I'm sort of in the same problem.  I lived in my home for 2 years now and it's near a busy road.  It wasn't busy before but after the walmart went up and other crap it is now a very busy street as it leads straight to these stores.  My wife just had to have the house but now I put my foot down.  I was going to sound proof as best as I could but that money is now better used towards realtor fees and other costs involved in selling the place.  Get out and find a place that's quiet.  That's the only way you will be happy.
Title: Re: Traffic noise behind the home
Post by: joel on May 01, 2008, 04:25:31 PM
Try using 1/2" or thicker acrylic - one inch thick is what is being used along train routes in the eastern and midwest states.  Works well